Aldgate is a district in the City of London and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, it was the eastern-most gateway through London Wall leading from the City to Whitechapel and the East End of London. It gives its name to a ward of the City bounded by White Kennet Street in the north and Crutched Friars in the south, taking in Leadenhall and Fenchurch Streets, which remain principal thoroughfares through the City of London, each splitting from the short street named Aldgate that connects to Aldgate High Street. Sir John Cass's school, where a plaque records the former placement of London Wall, is sited on the north side of Aldgate.

History[edit | edit source]

Designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, the Whitechapel Gallery opened in 1901 as one of the first publicly funded galleries for temporary exhibitions in London, and it has a long track record for education and outreach projects, focused on local people,[1] and played an important part in the history of post-war British art, several important exhibitions were held at the Whitechapel Gallery including This is Tomorrow in 1956, the first UK exhibition by Mark Rothko in 1961, and in 1964 The New Generation show which featured John Hoyland, Bridget Riley, David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield among others.[2][3][4][5][6]

In the 1970s, the historic street pattern in central Aldgate was altered to form one large traffic gyratory at the junction which included Whitechapel High Street and Commercial Road. This was followed by office development took place on the traffic island at the centre with a network of underground subways was constructed to provide pedestrian access beneath the one-way system and to provide a link to the London Underground stations. This led to parts of Aldgate being protected in the Whitechapel High Street Conservation Area and there are numerous listed buildings.[7]

The station was named "Commercial Road" had been proposed for the original Aldgate East station, which opened on 6 October 1884 as part of an eastern extension to the District Railway (now the District line),[8] As part of the London Passenger Transport Board's 1935–1940 New Works Programme, the triangular junction at Aldgate was enlarged, to allow for a much gentler curve,[9] the new station opened on 31 October 1938[8] (the earlier station closing permanently the previous night[10][11])

During the development phase of the Docklands Light Railway, three terminus options were proposed at the west end, at Tower Hill, Minories and Aldgate East. The Aldgate East option, envisaged a low-level connection with the underground that would have allowed DLR trains to run on tube tracks to a variety of central London destinations. However, it quickly became apparent that there was no capacity on the existing network for integrating the DLR into the Underground.[12]

Transport[edit | edit source]

Aldgate is a well connected area, with it being linked by two stations on the London Underground at Aldgate Station to the Metropolitan and Circle Line, and the District and Hammersmith & City Lines at Aldgate East Station which are all in Travelcard Zone 1.[13]

From the Wikipedia article [1]:

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